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UT Austin's John Goodenough, who changed the world with batteries, dies at 100

  John Goodenough smiles at the camera from his classroom at UT Austin in May 2017.
Gabriel C. Pérez
John Goodenough smiles at the camera from his classroom at UT Austin in May 2017.

John Goodenough, the UT Austin professor awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2019 for his role in the creation of the rechargeable lithium-ion battery — common in laptops and cellphones around the world — has died at the age of 100.

In an interview with KUT's Mose Buchele in 2017, Goodenough said he hoped his work would help power a "big revolution" that will reduce the world's dependence on carbon-emitting energy.

Goodenough received numerous national and international honors, including the Japan Prize, the Enrico Fermi Award and the National Medal of Science.

In announcing his passing, his colleagues at UT Austin said he will be remembered as a brilliant scientist, innovator and educator.

“John was one of the greatest minds of our time and is an inspiration. He was a good listener with love and respect for everyone. I will always cherish our time together, and we will continue to build on the foundation John established,” said his friend and colleague Ram Manthiram, professor at UT's Cockrell School of Engineering.

Goodenough joined the university in 1986. When he was asked how he would be received upon his return to UT after collecting his Nobel, he said, "I hope they still keep me employed!"

He will also be remembered for his infectious laughter, which could often be heard echoing through the halls of the the university. You can listen to that here:

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2023 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Mose Buchele is the Austin-based broadcast reporter for KUT's NPR partnership StateImpact Texas . He has been on staff at KUT 90.5 since 2009, covering local and state issues. Mose has also worked as a blogger on politics and an education reporter at his hometown paper in Western Massachusetts. He holds masters degrees in Latin American Studies and Journalism from UT Austin.